About the K-9 Unit

The unit is comprised of five Accelerant Detection Canine (ADC) teams and one Explosives Detection Canine (EDC) team.

Accelerant Detection Canines

In 1998, the Bureau implemented an Accelerant Detection K-9 program with financial and technical support from State Farm Insurance Company. This mutually beneficial partnership was established in an effort to enhance the investigators’ ability to identify evidence of liquid accelerants utilized by arsonists and has been functioning well since its inception. Currently, the Bureau has five Accelerant Detection K-9 teams located statewide.

The majority of canines in the State Farm Arson Dog Program are Labrador Retrievers obtained from animal shelters, rescue organizations, or certified companion programs. The program uses Labrador Retrievers because Labs have a superior ability to discriminate among scents at a fire scene. Their noses can smell in parts per quintillion. Labs generally have a gentle disposition, a “love to work” attitude, and an outgoing personality. The K9s are trained using a food reward method and the teams are required to recertify annually.

Detective Ross Holt and K9 Icy

Detective David Young and K9 FrescaDetective Jeff Batz and K9 Booker

Captain Ross Holt & ADC Icy 

Team Commander - Plantation

Detective David Young & ADC Fresca



Detective Jeff Batz & ADC Booker

Lake Wales


Detective Jim Stafford & ADC Ginger

Detective Amelia Hitchcock and K9 PenzyDetective Matt Huffman & ADC Shay-Ley

Detective Jim Stafford & ADC Ginger

Panama City

Detective Amelia Hitchcock & ADC Penzy

Daytona Beach

Detective Matt Huffman & ADC Shay-Ley


Explosives Detection Canine

Oregon, an 18-month old German Shepard, joined DFS’ EOD Units through Southern Coast K9 located in New Smyrna Beach. Southern Coast K9 is a recognized canine vendor specializing in training canines for law enforcement patrol work as well as canines specializing in scent discrimination for narcotics and explosives. Oregon and Detective Taylor support local law enforcement agencies across Florida, predominately in rural regions of the state, where explosive detecting resources may not be readily available.

Detective Monty Taylor and K9 Oregon

Detective Monty Taylor & EDC Oregon
Lake Wales